- His favourite word was quebec.
Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Manicouagan (Québec)
Lost his last election, in 2011, with 31% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Petitions March 25th, 2011
Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present in the House today a petition signed by hundreds of people. These people are calling for an increase to the guaranteed income supplement and for automatic enrollment in the program.
The Budget March 24th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, the remarks made by the previous member and by the Minister of National Revenue were a little ridiculous, in my opinion. He said that the government had created and will create a lot of jobs, as a result of the budget. He also spoke about seniors.
Whole areas have been opened up on the north shore primarily thanks to the forestry industry. The mining and fishing industries obviously had something to do with this, too. What does the previous member think about the folks who lost their jobs at the Rivière-Pentecôte sawmill, the Kruger sawmill in Ragueneau, the Rivière-Saint-Jean sawmill and the Baie-Trinité sawmill? They lost their jobs because the federal government set aside a paltry $60 million in the budget for 2011-12, whereas last year, in Ontario alone, the government allocated $10 billion to the auto sector.
The north shore forestry sector needs loan guarantees from the government in order to reopen these sawmills and put people back to work at the pulp and paper mills. The government needs to give the forestry sector funding to modernize, so that plants and sawmills can remain competitive.
The Budget March 24th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question, through you, to the speaker who just spoke about homelessness and social housing.
I urge the government to leaf through the books of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which is a federal crown corporation. It will see the billions of dollars in surplus that the corporation is raking in. That money could be invested in society and in building social housing.
I also urge the federal government and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to work with the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ), which works in turn with the municipal housing offices.
When I was a municipal councillor in Hauterive and Baie-Comeau, the municipal housing office’s waiting lists were extremely long. The people on those lists are people with low incomes.
Personally, I think that the 2011 budget does not meet the expectations of low-income families when it comes to housing for seniors and people with disabilities.
I would like the speaker who spoke before me to answer this question. Could the money that is lying idle in the government be invested in society, through investments in social housing?
The Budget March 24th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, for several years, the Bloc Québécois has been talking about its pre-budget consultations. It is asking the Minister of Finance for an increase in the guaranteed income supplement, which should be given automatically. If someone files a tax return and does not apply for the guaranteed income supplement, the government will not pay it. When the Bloc Québécois raised this issue, thousands of people who were entitled to the guaranteed income supplement were not receiving it. It should be automatic.
As well, the federal government should raise old age security. Seniors are increasingly being asked to stay in their homes as long as possible, with their families. Those people pay the same price for a pound of butter and a quart of milk, as the hon. member said, as everyone else. The Fédération des travailleurs du Québec has a program called “Une retraite à l’abri des soucis”—worry-free retirement—which the Bloc Québécois supports. My union representative on the north shore, Bertrand Méthot, will definitely be happy with my speech today on the budget.
The Budget March 24th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, my question is for my colleague on the government side. Employment insurance is intended to protect against loss or termination of employment. Both the employee and the employer pay premiums. The federal government does not contribute a cent to the employment insurance program. The only role it plays is that of employment insurance fund manager. The Liberals were accused of siphoning off $58 billion from this fund at the expense of seasonal workers.
Moreover, 60% of people who pay into the employment insurance system are women and young people. We need a government that is prepared to have an independent fund established and run by those people who contribute to it, a government that will deliver genuine insurance by enhancing the employment insurance system.
And yet what is the Conservative Party doing in this budget? It has announced up front that it intends to siphon off $17 billion from the employment insurance fund over the next five years. My remarks are therefore directed at those voters who are watching us today. They will have a choice to make. It is our hope that they will vote in Quebec for the Bloc Québécois because its members are the only ones who stand behind workers, the unemployed and seasonal workers. They are here in Ottawa to condemn the misuse of the employment insurance fund by both the Conservatives and the Liberals.
Employment Insurance March 24th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, transitional measures were put in place in 2000, after the employment insurance economic regions were inadequately reconfigured. Certain regions, like the Bas-Saint-Laurent–Côte-Nord region, have had a blended unemployment rate for more than 10 years, which was adopted in an effort to correct this error until the next reconfiguration. On March 12, 2011, the government started gradually phasing out these transitional measures.
But many unemployed and seasonal workers will not qualify unless these transitional measures are extended. Instead of undertaking a sweeping reform of this outdated system that does not reflect the current reality of workers, the Conservatives are keeping thousands of people in suspense and in poverty. The 2011 budget does not extend the transitional measures, which would have been good, as would a fair reform of the employment insurance system. Once again, the Conservatives are showing their contempt for the regions of Quebec and—
Business of Supply March 10th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, concerned about the astonishing number of 80,000 seniors living under the poverty line in Quebec, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Quebec Federation of Labour—the FTQ—have launched their worry-free retirement campaign, aimed at providing a secure retirement for everyone. The elderly are in a vulnerable position and are too often left to their fate. The government should take some real measures to help them.
The government should make it a priority to help the elderly, increase old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits, and provide better protection for pensioners in order to improve the conditions in which seniors live.
The hon. member who spoke before me delivered a fine speech. She spoke about several classes in society, but she forgot the elderly. They were our builders, our pioneers. On the north shore, whether in Sept-Îles, Baie-Comeau, Havre-Saint-Pierre or communities all over the lower north shore, government assistance is needed to increase old age security and the guaranteed income supplement.
Department of Public Works and Government Services Act December 14th, 2010
moved that the bill be concurred in.
High Tides in Eastern Quebec December 10th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, during the 2007 floods in Rivière-au-Renard in the Gaspé, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions committed to helping affected merchants who were not fully covered by Quebec insurance companies and emergency programs.
Does the government plan to take its cue from this precedent and help businesspeople, merchants and NPOs that were victims of the high tides in eastern Quebec?
The Environment December 9th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, in 1997, the federal government abolished the St. Lawrence shoreline protection program. The considerable damage that has been caused in the lower St. Lawrence, Gaspé and north shore regions is proof that a fund is needed to deal with the impact of climate change.
Will the government create such a fund?